Make a yummy batch of Easy Cheesy Enchiladas in a flash, with cheddar and jack cheese, canned enchilada sauce, onions, and corn tortillas.
Make a yummy batch of Easy Cheesy Enchiladas in a flash, with cheddar and jack cheese, canned enchilada sauce, onions, and corn tortillas.

One of my lifetime friends gave me her family’s “recipe” for making basic cheese enchiladas over 42 years ago. I have been making them, in one form or another ever since! The recipe (as shown in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page) is her recipe for basic cheese enchiladas, perfect for “Meatless Mondays” (or anytime, for that matter!).

My friend, Nadine, says lightly frying the corn tortillas in hot oil BEFORE filling them, is the secret to making them. Nadine says it’s because the slightly cooked tortillas won’t tear as easily as dry tortillas might when filling them. I’ve always made our enchiladas this way, and now (42 years later), I’ve probably used this little basic recipe hundreds of times! You can even go WILD (ha ha) and add seasoned ground beef, chicken, turkey or shredded pork, if you want to add some “meat”.

We have enjoyed these little enchiladas so long now, I feel like they are part of our family! It really doesn’t take much effort to make a pan of eight enchiladas (and the recipe can be easily doubled). Here’s how to make ’em:

Preparing To Make Enchiladas

Preheat your oven to 350° Place the chopped onion, and grated jack and cheddar cheeses into individual bowls. NOTE: Set aside about 1/4 cup each of the two cheeses and save for later. You will need this cheese to sprinkle on top of the filled enchiladas before baking.

I like to set the bowls close together, right next to where I will be filling the enchiladas, so it is easy for me to grab the ingredients.

Chopped onion, grated cheddar and jack cheese are ready to fill tortillas.

Quick Fry To Soften Tortillas

Heat the oil in a small skillet (large enough for the tortillas, though!). You only need a small amount of oil, (usually about 3 Tablespoons) to barely cover the bottom of the skillet. You amount may vary, based on the size skillet you are using.

Heat the oil on medium-high heat until it is very hot, but NOT smoking. Lay a tortilla in the hot oil, and let it cook for about 15 seconds, then flip it to the other side, using tongs, Cook 15 more seconds, and then carefully (using tongs) lift the tortilla out of the hot oil, letting the excess oil drip back into skillet, and place tortilla on a paper towel.

Repeat process with all 8 tortillas. When done, carefully blot the tortillas with paper towels to soak up any extra oil. Stack the tortillas on top of each other. Now you’re ready to fill the tortillas, and they should be nice and pliable, so they don’t tear.

Corn tortillas are quickly fried in hot oil to soften before adding enchilada filling.Quickly fried tortillas are blotted dry with paper towels before adding enchilada filling.

Filling And Rolling Easy Cheesy Enchiladas

Before you begin filling the enchiladas, spoon just enough of the enchilada sauce in a 9×13 baking dish to cover the bottom. Then, as you fill each enchilada, you place it directly on top of the enchilada sauce.

To fill the enchiladas, place a small handful of grated cheddar cheese right down the middle of the tortilla. Top with the grated jack cheese, and then sprinkle with chopped onion. TIP: You will have to “guesstimate” on the amount of cheese used to fill each tortilla. Remember you need to divide the cheeses and onions evenly between 8 tortillas!

Once filled, roll the tortilla tightly up and over the filling. Place it in the prepared baking dish, with the seam side DOWN. Repeat this process for each enchilada. Your fingers can get a little messy, but who cares? It’s homemade enchiladas!

Each corn tortilla is filled with jack and cheddar cheese and chopped onions.Tortillas and filling are rolled, then placed on top of enchilada sauce in baking pan.

Finishing Enchiladas BEFORE Baking

Lay each remaining filled enchilada tightly next to the others. Pour or spoon the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas, until all are fully covered. Cover any exposed tortilla with the sauce (that will help them not dry out while baking).

Use all the sauce to cover those enchiladas! Once done, sprinkle the reserved cheddar and jack cheeses over the top of the enchiladas. If you want more, simply add as much as you wish. Sometimes I even add a bit more chopped onion or chopped black olives, too!

Additional enchilada sauce is put on top of the enchiladas in the baking pan.Grated cheeses are sprinkled on top of the easy cheesy enchiladas before baking.

Time To Bake

Easy cheesy enchiladas should be baked in a preheated 350°F. oven. Bake them for approximately 20 minutes. When done, the sauce and cheese should be bubbly around the edges, the cheese on top will be melted, and enchiladas will be heated through.

Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack, and let the easy cheesy enchiladas cool for just a couple minutes. This lets the cheese slightly firm up, so they are easier to remove from the dish for serving.

Enchiladas are baked for 20 minutes until cheese melts and they're heated through.

Serving Easy Cheesy Enchiladas

Use a spatula to remove each enchilada from the pan, and transfer to individual serving plates. These enchiladas go really well with my crock pot refried beans or Spanish rice.

Some of our favorite ways to serve cheesy enchiladas include adding chopped cilantro the the top of each enchilada. It’s really your own personal taste that will determine how you top them (and totally optional to add any extra topping at all!).

You can also just go with a dollop of sour cream on each one, OR you can go wild, and add fresh guacamole AND sour cream. However you serve these enchiladas, I’m pretty sure you will enjoy them. We sure do!

Easy cheesy enchiladas, garnished with chopped cilantro for serving.

The easy cheesy enchiladas can be garnished with sour cream for serving.Fresh guacamole and sour cream are another garnish for the baked cheese enchiladas.

I hope you enjoy these easy cheesy enchiladas. We sure do! It’s a perfectly delicious tasting “meatless meal”. Thank you for stopping by, and I sincerely hope you will stop by again. The printable recipe card is below.

Looking for for Mexican/Southwestern Main Dishes?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have several Mexican or Southwestern inspired recipes, including:

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Original recipe source: my friend Nadine Massey, over 42 years ago

Easy Cheesy Enchiladas
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Make a yummy batch of Easy Cheesy Enchiladas in a flash, with cheddar and jack cheese, canned enchilada sauce, onions, and corn tortillas.

Category: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican, Southwest
Keyword: easy cheesy enchiladas
Servings: 8 enchiladas
Calories Per Serving: 305 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 8 medium corn tortillas
  • 19 ounces red enchilada sauce (canned) , 1 lb. 3 ounce can
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese , divided
  • 2 cups grated jack cheese , divided
  • cup onion (yellow) , chopped
  • enough oil to cover bottom of small skillet (approx. 3 Tablespoons)
OPTIONAL GARNISH: sour cream, guacamole, chopped cilantro
    Instructions
    PREP:
    1. Preheat oven to 350° Place chopped onion, and grated jack and cheddar cheeses into individual bowls. NOTE: Set aside about 1/4 cup each of the two cheeses and save for later. You will need this cheese to sprinkle on top of the filled enchiladas before baking. Pour just enough of the enchilada sauce in a 9x13 baking dish to cover the bottom.

    Making Enchiladas:
    1. Heat oil in a small skillet (large enough for tortillas) on medium-high heat until very hot, but NOT smoking. Lay a tortilla in hot oil; let it cook for about 15 seconds, then flip it to other side, using tongs. Cook 15 seconds, and then carefully (using tongs) lift tortilla from oil, letting excess oil drip into skillet; place on a paper towel. Repeat process with all tortillas. Blot tortillas with paper towels to soak up oil.

    2. Fill enchiladas: place a small handful of grated cheddar cheese down the middle of the tortilla. Top with grated jack cheese, and then sprinkle with chopped onion, dividing cheeses and onion evenly between 8 tortillas. Once filled, roll tortilla tightly up and over the filling. Place in prepared baking dish, seam side DOWN. Repeat process with each enchilada.

    3. Pour or spoon remaining sauce over enchiladas, until fully covered. Once done, sprinkle reserved cheddar and jack cheeses over the top.

    4. Baked at 350°F. for approx. 20 minutes. When done, sauce and cheese should be bubbly around the edges, cheese melted, and enchiladas heated through. Transfer dish to a wire rack; let cool for 2 minutes, before serving. OPTIONAL: Serve, topped with sour cream, cilantro, guacamole or other toppings of your choice. Enjoy.

    Recipe Notes

    Oil used to quickly "fry" tortillas not included in caloric calculation. Most oil remains unused (and amount to cover skillet bottom will vary per user).

    Nutrition Facts
    Easy Cheesy Enchiladas
    Amount Per Serving (1 enchilada)
    Calories 305 Calories from Fat 171
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 19g29%
    Saturated Fat 11g69%
    Cholesterol 55mg18%
    Sodium 923mg40%
    Potassium 109mg3%
    Carbohydrates 18g6%
    Fiber 3g13%
    Sugar 5g6%
    Protein 17g34%
    Vitamin A 949IU19%
    Vitamin C 2mg2%
    Calcium 437mg44%
    Iron 1mg6%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

    Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest pages!Make a yummy batch of Easy Cheesy Enchiladas in a flash, with cheddar and jack cheese, canned enchilada sauce, onions, and corn tortillas.

    Easy Cheesy Enchiladas

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